Our next event

*OPuS AGM - 7th February 2019

Please note that the Audiobook event on Thursday February 7th will be preceded by our AGM - more details are available on the AGM section of the website.

February 2019: Audiobooks: The Saviours of publishing or just a good listen?

The recent boom in audiobook sales is welcome news for the book industry and this sector is now said to be the fastest-growing area of consumer publishing. According to the PA, spending on audiobooks has more than doubled in the past five years, agents are reporting greater competition to retain audio rights when negotiating new deals, and some publishers are developing their own dedicated audiobook imprints.

Where does the industry go next? What should publishers be doing to capitalise on the opportunity and take advantage of the growing range of models and retail channels available for audio?

Come along and hear our speakers talk about their own experiences and views of this rapidly changing sector.


Jo Forshaw, Freelance Audiobook Publishing Expert

Having previously tinkered with audio as an agent, a retailer and then programmer for a wee radio station, Jo Forshaw ran the audio publishing team at HarperCollins until 2017. Taking HarperCollins from 80 titles a year to audio editions of pretty much every print title across HC via the infamous Total Audio project, Jo has overseen thousands of audiobooks, created partnerships with retailers and publishers and driven revenue up massively. Now a freelance consultant, she advises on everything audio, from strategy and programme planning and to casting and recording.

Catherine O'Brien, Chief Executive, Essential AudioBooks LLC (New York)

Essential Audiobooks was launched at the beginning of June 2016 and publishes audio editions of classic and modern literature as well as children's books. Working from their own studios to create audiobooks of the highest technical and artistic quality, their skilled and experienced narrators and producers bring the greatest classics of literature vividly to life, complete and unabridged, exactly as they were written by some of the world's finest authors.

Sylvia Vetta, Author

Sylvia is an Oxford-based author who has had an audiobook made of her first novel (by Essential Audiobooks) Brushstrokes in Time (Claret Press) and has a new book Sculpting the Elephant (Claret Press) due to be released in March 2019.

Date and Time:

Thursday 7th February

6.30pm Drinks / 7pm Talks


Kennedy Room 308, John Henry Brookes Building

Oxford Brookes University Gipsy Lane campus (Map)

Free to OpuS members/£10 for non-OpuS members


Book now! https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/audiobooks-the-latest-saviours-of-publishing-or-just-a-good-listen-tickets-54977329673





Past Events

November 2018: Publishing in China - What's Next?

Our November speaker event, in collaboration with the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes was a lively discussion about the future of the Chinese publishing industry – and what it means for the UK publishers who want to access it.

With a population of over 1.4 billion people, China is the biggest market in the world – and with the book market estimated at over £14 billion, this means big business for publishers. With the organisers of the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) reporting an increase of 30% in the number of publishing professionals attending this year, international publishers are clearly keen to get a piece of the action.

Our speakers were:

Angus Phillips, Head of the School of Arts and Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and The Confucius Institute, Oxford Brookes

James McCall, Visiting Lecturer and Professor in International Publishing at various Chinese universities and consultant to donor agencies and governments on textbook publishing policy

Su Yen Hu, Director of Snowflake Books, an Oxford-based independent publisher of children's books drawn from ancient Chinese fairy stories and legends, with full texts in English and Chinese


September 2018: Careers in 21st Century Publishing

Our September event was a lively and fascinating discussion about how to develop a career in the publishing sector - from getting entry level positions, to moving between different roles, to looking for opportunities outside of the traditional publishing company. Our trio of speakers, Ian Campsall (Elsevier), Aaron O’Dowling-Keane (Sherlock: The Game is Now) and Saskia Watts (Vitalsource/Ingram) - pictured below - had some great insights on skills building and career development, based on their own varied experiences of the industry - as well as touching on the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

Our amazing sponsors, Atwood Tate wrote a blog post where you can read more about the event: https://blog.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/21st-century-publishing-careers-oxford/ 


August 2018: OPuS and SYP (Society of Young Publishers) Joint Summer Party


May 2018: Bookselling Today - Different Perspectives


March 2018: Securing Trust and Reliability in Scholarly Publishing


February 2018: Letting Books Be Books: Breaking Gender Barriers in Children's Publishing



December 2017: Eat, Drink and Be Merry Christmas Party with Bookmachine


November 2017: The Future of Illustrated Publishing

You can read more about the event on the Oxford Brookes Publishing blog: https://publishing.brookes.ac.uk/blog/article/the_future_of_illustrated_publishing/